Scott MacKay

Political Analyst

With a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Vermont and a wealth of knowledge of local politics, it was a given that Scott MacKay would become a commentator for Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable.

As a former political reporter for The Providence Journal, MacKay has spent more than thirty years documenting the ins and outs of politics in Rhode Island and New England. MacKay is married to Dr. Staci Fisher, an infectious diseases specialist at Rhode Island Hospital.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

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Scott MacKay Essay
12:27 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

Can Rhode Island Survive Sequestration?

Credit US Capitol

Most Rhode Islanders by now have adopted a my-eyes-glaze over attitude towards a dysfunctional federal government that careens from one self-inflicted crisis to another. The latest is the so-called sequester, the arbitrary cuts in federal spending that loom because Democrats and Republicans in Congress can’t seem to act like grown-ups and figure out how to deal with taxing and spending.

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On Politics
12:22 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

RI economy to suffer sequester foolishness

Rhode Island’s economy is finally showing signs of emerging from the recession. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay tells us how the sequester fiasco in Washington threatens our state’s progress.

Most Rhode Islanders by now have adopted a my-eyes-glaze over attitude towards a dysfunctional federal government that careens from one self-inflicted crisis to another. The latest is the so-called sequester, the arbitrary cuts in federal spending that loom because Democrats and Republicans in Congress can’t seem to act like grown-ups and figure out how to deal with taxing and spending.

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Analysis
10:31 am
Thu February 28, 2013

How Will RI Fare if Sequestration Happens?

T.F. Green Airport Security Gate
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The list of potential implications to RI is long if the so-called sequestration kicks in:  from longer lines at the airport to job loss to less educational research.  Scott MacKay reviews what might be in our future. 

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

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On Politics
9:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Brown poll shows strong support for Taveras, gay marriage

Brown University's public opinion poll is the latest opinion survey to show strong support for same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, the last New England state without legal sanction for gay marriages. The survey also shows that Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has the highest job approval rating of any major Rhode Island elected official: Here is the full poll:

On Politics
6:57 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Brown U. President Paxson weighs in on history

Brown University president Christina Paxson was part of an interesting forum in the Atlantic Monthly’s March edition. The question asked of a group of intellectuals and academic historians was: What day  most changed the course of history?

Ken Burns, the documentary film maker, said it was June 28, 1914, the day Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, which started World War I. Yale history professor Paul Kennedy said  it was the day Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine.

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Gun Legislation in RI
2:10 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Why the NRA is Lobbying Lawmakers on Smith Hill

Today on Smith Hill, a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association and a captain in the Rhode Island State Police are meeting with lawmakers for an informal session. They are coming at the request of Woonsocket Democrat Representative Lisa Badelli-Hunt. She says lawmakers need more information if they’re going to intelligently consider gun legislation this session.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay joins afternoon host Dave Fallon to discuss the meeting and what it means for gun control measures in the state.  

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On Politics
12:25 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Rhode Island's consolidation blues

RI State Capitol
Credit RIPR file

The high cost of local government in Rhode Island has forever been an issue. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why – even in a recession- our little state can’t make progress on consolidating municipal services.

It seemed like a smart and easy way for both Warwick and East Greenwich to save taxpayer money. In 2011, at the depth of the recession, leaders of the two communities got together to see if they could merge fire dispatch services in a way that would incorporate new technologies and save money.

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On Politics
12:15 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Follies Tickets Still Available

If yesterday’s dress rehearsal is any indication, this year’s Providence Newspaper Guild Follies will be  the funniest in years!

The Follies, of course, is the original spoof in song, skit and stand-up comedy of all things Rhode Island, especially our state’s politicians. This year, among the stars will be Linc, Gina, Angel, Jack, Jim, Sheldon, Elizabeth and David!!

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Scott MacKay Commentary
7:16 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Straight party voting not a simple issue in RI

Just about every good government group in Rhode Island is pushing for an end to the so-called master lever option on state ballots. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why this is not a panacea for what ails our state’s political culture.
 
It has become an article of faith in Rhode Island among the self-styled government reform groups, most statewide elected politicians and the chattering pundit classes that our state needs to get rid of that relic of urban machine politics, the master lever.

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On Politics
5:58 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Chafee raises $$ with Democratic support

Governor Lincoln Chafee tells anyone who will listen that he is running for reelection in 2014, despite poll numbers that show him lagging behind other aspirants, including Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo. Well, Chafee, an independent is getting back into the fund-raising game with a big-ticket fund-raiser in Washington D.C. on Feb. 25, when Chafee is scheduled to be in the nation’s capitol for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

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